Featuring Steve Strong, Vice President of Southwest Truck Driver Training
If you haven’t checked out the 18 Wheel Talk Podcast Show, then a recent episode featuring Southwest Truck Driver Training is a great place to get started.
In this episode (#74), hilarious hosts and veteran truck drivers Patrick Heller and Janet McCue share the mic with our own Steve Strong, vice president of administration for Southwest Truck Driver Training, to talk about all the ways Southwest Truck Driver Training steers its students in the right direction. Pun intended!
Journey to Southwest Truck Driver Training
The hosts came prepared with questions, so the trio had a lively conversation that ranged from Steve’s background and how he came to work with Southwest Truck Driver Training, to the packages and programs the school offers its students.
A self-proclaimed “school guy,” Steve spent the past 26 years as an admissions rep for technical schools and other career schools that help students find the right jobs for them.
“It sounds kind of corny, but we’re helping people change their lives through education,” Steve says.
Why Career Training Has a Place
Steve discusses combating negative perceptions among lawmakers throughout his career who saw career schools as institutions motivated only by profit. While there are always some bad apples, Steve says that given the chance, the good schools would be the first to show the bad actors the door.
Steve goes on to explain how vocational schools have changed over the years and have a much-needed place in our world. These types of schools fill a gap in training not being offered elsewhere, as well as offer career training that can be taught quickly.
Over the years, Steve says, Southwest Truck Driver Training has built its reputation on its commitment to its students: “We give a damn. We care about the students. We care about the industry.”
Southwest’s CDL Program Offerings
Steve explains the CDL programs offered at SWTDT, which accommodate students who need day, night, and even weekend schedules. He also explains the split between class time and driving time, school cost, along with financial aid availability.
Unlike some truck driving schools that feed new drivers into specific trucking companies, Southwest Truck Driver Training is independent and offers lifetime job placement assistance at no additional cost.
“I always tell our students, ‘Listen, we don’t, we don’t work for a trucking company. We work for you.’ We work for our students,” Steve said.
Podcast Hosts Visit Southwest’s Phoenix Campus
Podcast hosts Patrick and Janet had the chance to visit Southwest’s Phoenix campus and raved about the beautiful lobby with a calm, welcoming vibe that greets everyone coming in.
Janet in particular was taken by the pictures in the lobby that show the history of the trucking industry.
“I’m a fourth-generation driver,” Janet says. “And coming from that, the pictures on the walls, I was like, ‘Oh, my dad drove that. And I remember grandpa driving that.’ Anyone that comes from that atmosphere can appreciate it.”
Steve agrees their team did a great job with the lobby and the welcoming atmosphere. He says that many new students enroll with Southwest Truck Driver Training because it “just feels right.”
Unable to resist the opportunity, Steve sneaks in a pun.
“If trucking is your thing and that’s what you want to do, we’ll get you signed up for class. We won’t steer you wrong,” Steve said.
Listen to the Podcast Episode
You can listen in on Steve’s conversation with the hosts of 18 Wheel Talk Podcast Show: